Temporary Winterscaping

Our temporary winterscape

It’s the pagan in me that keeps my Christmas tree up long past traditional tree-time. For me, the tree and lights represent the resilient human spirit through the darkest days of winter. Usually, my whim is satisfied by an artificial tree.

This year, however, I had a yen for a real one; a balsam fir. I wanted the boughs to decorate our front door, and to bring in to perfume the house. But my plan was always to keep the tree outdoors on our back deck, where we could enjoy it through our window all winter.

So that’s what happened.

It’s strange that in a country like Canada, which suffers through more than its share of winter weather, we think so little about how the garden looks in winter. This, at least, is a temporary solution – one that benefited the Boy Scouts, who sold us our tree, as well as the grower at a local tree farm. Plus, our tree will eventually be tree-cycled into mulch.

Our Christmas tree trimmed by this year’s (occasional) snow adds a dimension to our view that would otherwise be garnished only by our neighbour’s kitchen window. I like.


  1. So fun! And you don't have to worry about the tree bringing bugs inside to infect your houseplants 🙂 It looks very nice out there on the back porch.
    And I'm laughing a bit at your spring countdown – the first day of spring often feels very much like winter for me and probably you, too. But we can always hope this year will bring spring weather right on time!

  2. Helen, we always used to put our tree outside after Christmas, and I would decorate it with those balls of birdseed for our little feathered friends. Ian would always position it so I could look out the kitchen window and see it, and it looked amazing all winter.

  3. How lovely…We took our tree to a neighboring natural area; they ground it up and I walk on it and the remains of thousands of other trees. It's springy and smells delicious. I like your plan, too. gail

  4. Melanie and Deborah, Birdseed balls were part of my original vision, which I abandoned simply due to lack of time. On the other hand, in our neighbourhood, they'd be more likely to be "squirrelseed balls" — and those nasty critters do *not* need further encouragement.

    TakenForGraniteArt, I propped the base of the tree in a plant pot with soil, and watered well hoping it would freeze in place. Our weather has alternated mild and Arctic cold this winter, however, so some thaw and drainage did happen. The tree is tipping a little now, somewhat mitigated by bricks wedged in the pot. Thanks to the moist outside air (it was never indoors), the tree should stay greener, longer than those discarded trees at the curb.

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